How To Pay for a Nursing Home
We’re not going to sugarcoat it: The cost for nursing homes can be astronomical. The median cost of a private room in an assisted living facility in 2019 was $4,051 per month, and a private room in a nursing home was $8,517 per month. The reality is, there is no universal way to pay for care in a nursing home or assisted living facility. The best option is to consult a financial planner or elder law professional; these experts can help get a full picture of an older adult’s assets to determine what can be leveraged to help pay for a stay in one of these facilities.
Odds are, paying for a stay in a nursing home is going to come down to some mix of the following sources: assets from the older adult (the sale of stock or a home, for example), funds provided by other family members and caregivers, long-term care insurance, and defrayed cost from government programs, specifically Medicaid.
Does Medicaid Cover Nursing Homes?
In most cases, Medicaid will pay for nursing home care, provided you meet the financial eligibility requirements laid out by the program. These requirements differ in every state, so you’ll want to stay abreast of your state’s regulations. In my experience, Medicaid generally covers the entirety of nursing home costs, including room, board, and care in the facility. Again, though, you must meet the financial eligibility requirements for this to be the case.
Are Nursing Home Costs Tax Deductible?
In some cases, nursing home costs can be deducted from your taxes as medical expenses. If your loved one is in a nursing home primarily for medical reasons, then all of the nursing home costs (room, board, care, etc.) can be deducted. If, however, your loved one is in a nursing home for non-medical reasons (ex: mobility), then only the itemized costs of care will be deductible, which means room and board will not be.
How to Pay for a Nursing Home with No Money
If you have neither savings nor insurance to cover long-term care, then it is likely that you’ll qualify for Medicaid coverage for a nursing home stay. In 2021, to qualify for Medicaid, you must make less than $2,382 per month.